First Commercial Wind Farm in 10 Years for Vermont

August 27, 2007

The Vermont Public Service Board (PSB) approved a 16-turbine, 40-megawatt wind generation facility in Sheffield, Vermont on August 8. The facility will be the first wind power plant to be built in the state in more than 10 years and the largest ever in Vermont.

The PSB issued its order granting approval for beginning construction after a lengthy review process that involved review of thousands of pages of testimony from 35 witnesses at hearings that spread over 10 days during the last year. PSB commissioners also visited the proposed site for the wind power plant to see for themselves. And they heard from hundreds of citizens at three public hearings. The order finds that the project promotes the general good.

The Public Service Board expressed that one reason why the Sheffield wind farm was approved, as opposed to the wind farm proposal, thirteen months ago in New Haven, was because UPC Vermont Wind, the company in charge of the Sheffield site, agreed to do a study on the effects of wind turbines on the local populations of birds and bats along with other stipulations.

Wind industry members and advocates agreed that the PSB order clearly establishes what conditions need to be met for other wind farm developers to build other commercial scale wind farms in Vermont. "The order sets a really high bar for developers to meet, but it lays out all the hoops you need to jump through," said James Moore, clean-energy advocate for the Vermont Public Interest Research Group.

For details, see the August 9 Public Service Board press release (PDF 69 KB). Download Adobe Reader.

When the Sheffield facility begins operating, probably in late 2008, it will produce roughly 115 million kilowatt-hours of electricity per year. Sheffield is located in the northeast corner of the state about 35 miles east of Burlington.

Source: August 19 story in the Burlington Free Press.

To read more about renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in Vermont, see: